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Can We Ignore God’s Judgment?

Read: Isaiah 34:1-12

Night and day it shall not be quenched; its smoke shall go up forever. From generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it forever and ever. (v. 10)

Before undertaking this study, I was familiar with Isaiah 35, a wonderful picture of the joy of God’s redeemed people, but not chapter 34. My first impulse was to leave it out, because it describes God’s final judgment, a subject I often prefer to bypass. After thoughtfully reading this chapter and a helpful commentary, my feelings quieted, as I hope yours will.

The end of this present era and a final judgment are clearly taught in the Bible. Isaiah presents these truths as “stars being dissolved, the sky being rolled up as a scroll,” and “the sword of the Lord descending in judgment on Edom” (vv. 4-5). Edom, a nation with continued enmity toward Israel, is symbolic of all who remain in rebellion against God.

I believe Isaiah’s mention of “Zion’s cause” (v. 8) is a prophetic insight into the future proclamation of God’s love and grace in Jesus Christ. The rejection of this salvation is the ultimate rebellion against God. The nature and finality of God’s judgment is pictured in the desolation of Edom (vv. 8-15). In verse 1 all people of the earth are urged to hear and pay careful attention. This appeal refers to these sobering thoughts and to the wonderful alternative presented in Isaiah 35. —Gordon Van Wylen

As you pray, listen and pay careful attention to what God is telling you.

About the Author

Gordon Van Wylen

Gordon Van Wylen served as the Dean of the Engineering School at the University of Michigan, and was the President Emeritus of Hope College. Dr. Van Wylen died in 2020.

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